Feeding the whole person at The Lord’s Kitchen
On any given Saturday, The Lord’s Kitchen, a feeding ministry run out of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church’s feeds between 750 and 800 people every first through third Saturday of the month as it endeavors to fulfill its mission which is to feed the whole person, physically with food; and spiritually with Holy Scripture.
It’s a ministry that Artemissia N. Zervos and her late husband Nicholas Zervos started in 2000 out of their home.
According to Zervos, offering of themselves in service was impressed upon their hearts.
“This was a calling that my husband and I got to start, and the name – The Lord’s Kitchen was actually given to us by the Lord,” said Zervos.
In the beginning, they prepared packages of food and gave them out, later moving on to cooking food at home and giving it out to church pastors for distribution.
In 2015 with the arrival of the church’s new spiritual leader, Reverend Irenaeus Cox and his wife Presvytra Alexandra Cox, the Zervos’ sought to expand their home ministry by bringing it under the umbrella of the church on West Street.
The Zervos’ were allowed full use of the church’s facilities and storage space which allowed them to be able to feed even more people than they had done before.
“We had limitations at our home where we only had a home kitchen. But at the church we have a very large kitchen with two commercial-sized stoves, a walk-in cooler, a walk-in freezer and all the facilities to feed more people. When we got the present priest and his wife, we expanded it by making it a ministry of our church, The Greek Orthodox Church on West Street,” she said.
The Zervos’ and volunteers do meal prep on Friday evenings and cook the food on Saturday morning to distribute late in the day to the poor and hungry.
“We cook the feed and package it; then we have churches that come and collect the packaged food which they take to the streets where poverty is and distribute it – to the homeless under the bridge and at the park, as well as to people in Kemp Road where there is a lot of poverty.”
The Lord’s Kitchen also donates meals to several nursing homes as well as youth and charitable organizations.
On any given Saturday they also distribute meals for to up to 60 walk-ins to the church on West Street, at which time Zervos said they take the opportunity to offer “spiritual food”.
“We give them the scripture because the motto of our kitchen is to feed the whole person – physically with the food, and spiritually with the Holy Scripture, the Word of God, which my husband used to prepare before his passing,” she said.
Zervos and her husband before his passing, and their volunteers were able to continue the work they’ve been doing for the past 19 years through food that has been donated mostly by members of the church, private donors and organizations and businesses.
The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) was the most recent corporate entity to assist The Lord’s Kitchen with their mission, with the donation of 20 cases of produce from its farm in Andros.
The Lord’s Kitchen’s layered mission of feeding the less fortunate connects with BAMSI’s new mandate to consistently donate quality surplus to local agencies and charitable organizations that are at the forefront of the fight against hunger.
Through BAMSI’s donation of tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli, lettuce, zucchini, cauliflower and eddies, The Lord’s Kitchen was able to showcase baked eggplant and zucchini served with pita bread, and chicken and white rice for a recent meal giveaway.
The donation was made through BAMSI’s Give Back Foundation, the brainchild of Chairperson Tennyson Wells. Through the foundation, BAMSI zeroes in on wastage, redirecting wholesome, healthy and locally grown fruits and vegetables to Bahamians who need it most.
Each BAMSI donation’s characteristics are different, based on season and what is available.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.